Rubbing shoulders with some of London’s oldest guilds and livery halls, Vintry & Mercer celebrates the City’s trade links with its sumptuous decor, fine wines and worldly cuisine. If you're wondering about the name, it's lifted from the two commercial wards on the hotel's doorstep: Vintry, where fine wines would arrive from France, and Mercer, the former haunt of merchants who traded in fine silks, damasks and linens. Mercer gets a particular nod in the rooms, where you’ll find tactile finishes like velvet headboards, leather door handles and hand-stitched palm wallpaper. The colours are equally rooted in tradition, taken from some of the most prized commodities to arrive in the city, including wine, honey and saffron. Downstairs, restaurant Vintry Izakaya serves enticing East Asian cuisine and fine wines tapped straight from the barrel; if mod-British fare is more your thing, head up to light-flooded Mercer Roof Terrace, where the views stretch from the dome of St Paul’s to the gleaming tip of the Shard.
Heart of the City
Clandestine cocktail bar
Enticing Asian restaurant
A glass of champagne each and a welcome gift
In the know
Also need to know:
All of the common areas are wheelchair accessible and there are several adapted rooms.The colours of the fabrics in the rooms (saffron, honey, garlic and wine) were all chosen because they have a namesake street nearby.
Bring something to wrap up with when you’re on the roof terrace.
You may be on the doorstep of the financial district, but you can swap the suit for something sleek yet casual.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from trade-inspired hotel in London and unpacked their vintage finds from Petticoat Lane Market, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Vintry & Mercer in London…
If you were you to walk along Garlick Hill a few hundred years ago, the Londoners you passed would have be engaged in a rather different business from the average City worker of today. The streets would have been a hotbed of mercantile commerce, thick with warehouse workers and monied merchants on their way to the banks of the Thames, where they would collect shipments of French wine, Indian silk and other luxury goods. With the river no longer the busy waterway it once was, the signs of that industry are more subtle now, but boutique hotel Vintry & Mercer has made a point of celebrating the City’s commercial roots. In the rooms, you’ll find sumptuous textiles like saffron-coloured velvet and hand-stitched wallpaper, which is traced with old maps and maritime charts. Downstairs, Vintry Kitchen revisits London’s relationship with the Far East, revisiting far-flung corners of the earth with dishes like like wasabi lobster and tea-smoked baby back ribs. In the basement, art deco speakeasy Do Not Disturb deals in potions of an equally exotic nature, with the cocktails performing a tour of the world – try a tipple finished with fragrant persimmon, zesty mandarin or sweet Melon.
19-20 Garlick Hill, London, EC4V 2AU, United Kingdom
1.6 mi / 2.6 km from city centre
- Exercise gym
- Internet services
- Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
- Room service
- Onsite laundry
Vintry Izakaya celebrates London’s connections with the Far East, with the bulk of dishes channeling the vibrant flavours of Japan. The tapas-style approach makes it easy to order a spread of dishes to sample and share – start with with a few steamed buns (try the lobster tempura with wasabi and tarragon mayonnaise), then follow with small plates like shiso octopus, yuzu cod and tea-smoked ribs. Wine plays an equally important role – this is the vintry quarter after all, where barrels would arrive from Boredeauc and beyond. In honour of the local history, the restaurant has bypasses bottles altogether, tapping direct from the barrels. Cresting the building, Mercer Roof Terrace is a mod-British eatery with a glass ceiling and views of St Paul’s and the gleaming tip of the Shard. Land and sea are both given their due – start with half a dozen Suffolk oysters and the crispy cod cheeks, follow with the pork cutlet or tranche of turbot, served with a smokey potato puree.
At Vintry Izakaya, go for the banquette beneath the skylight; at Mercer Roof Terrace, try for a table outside.
Vintry Izakaya is open all day from 6.30am to 10.30pm (breakfast starts at 7am on Saturday and Sunday). Mercer Roof Terrace is open Monday to Saturday, and serves lunch from noon to 2.30pm; dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm.
Follow the hand-stitched Ziegfied Follies into the basement and you’ll come upon clandestine cocktail bar Do Not Disturb, a rakish drinking den with low lighting, leather banquettes and art deco prints. Try a Cleary Garden (Sipsmith gin, Kamm & Sons, persimmon and mandarin) or the barmen’s take on one of the world’s first (and more expensive) cocktails, the Vintage Sazerac (Frapin 1988 grande champagne cognac, Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge 1970, a spray of Jade Nouvelle Orleans absinthe verte and a finishing lemon twist).
# night(s) ---